• What is the SWORBHP stance on administering salbutamol in patients with suspected ACPE? Most of us have been traditionally taught that salbutamol in patients presenting with crackles due to suspected ACPE is a negative thing because of the bronchodilation and the risk of flooding a patient. However, there are many studies that argue salbutamol administration could be beneficial. Especially in situations where patients are presenting with both wheezes and crackles, it can get confusing. Where does SWORBHP stand on this topic?

    Published On: May 19, 2023
  • Does cpap have to be used with nitro

    Published On: March 30, 2022
  • If a patient is given first time Nitro by a PCP IV but then isnt ever actually prescribed nitro by a doctor does this count as prior hx of nitro use? Could a then PCP non IV give this pt nitro the next time they call?

    Published On: March 30, 2022
  • I had a patient who met the criteria for Nitro administration under the ACPE directive. The initial BP was 104/72, with no previous Nitro use, and unable to obtain IV access. The pts blood pressure in the back went up to 143/88 while in the back of the ambulance… can nitro be given now that the blood pressure has increased, even if the pt started <140 SBP?

    Published On: August 5, 2021
  • If a dentist administers nitroglycerin to a patient who has no previous-prescribed use; does this constitute prescribed use at this point?

    Published On: May 21, 2020
  • *Updated* Why do we need to establish an IV in a patient with suspected pulmonary edema? If they fit the directive, they more than likely have crackles which would be contraindicated for a fluid bolus.

    Published On: May 21, 2020
  • Question: How can someone differentiate between crackles found in Acute Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema between those found in pneumonia?

    Published On: November 28, 2017
  • Question: In the event we have a patient who is STEMI positive, with symptoms of CHF (crackles/pitting edema) who is hypertensive >140 systolic BP are we to treat with 0.8mg of nitro for the CHF or 0.4 mg under the ischemic chest pain protocol? Also with the new STEMI standard dropping down to 3 – 0.4mg SL doses of nitro maximum, will that change out CHF protocol for nitro administration if both problems present together?

    Published On: July 7, 2017
  • Question: I was faced the other day with a question by one of my fellow peers in regards to the administration of nitroglycerine. As a contraindication, it states that we cannot administer nitro of the SBP drops by one third or more of its initial value after nitro is administered. This can be interpreted in 2 different ways, as brought to my attention by my fellow peer so now ever since, I second guess myself. So my question is, this “initial value,” is it the very first BP we take even before the first dose of nitro, or is it referring to the initial BP you take AFTER the first dose of nitro. It is such a simple answer I am sure but if I can get clarification so I can also relay the message to my fellow peer that would be great.

    Published On: September 29, 2016
  • Question: A patient is presenting with pulmonary edema. Patient became more symptomatic before calling and dyspnea worsened. Upon gathering history and taking vitals, they meet the criteria for Nitro and CPAP. The patient is currently prescribed Lasix for fluid in the lungs from doctor visit one week ago.

    With the history of pulmonary edema and being prescribed Lasix for fluid in the lungs, would this now be considered Non-Acute Pulmonary Edema?

    I need a better understanding of Acute Pulmonary Edema vs. Non-Acute Pulmonary Edema. The CPAP protocol indication lists: Suspected Acute Pulmonary Edema.

    Since the pulmonary edema is non-acute would CPAP and Nitro be withheld? Or, since the symptoms have worsened, provided I can recognize a patient that is truly in need of CPAP and Nitro, would I administer them? I want to clarify – thanks.

    Published On: July 23, 2015
  • Question: I have a question regarding congestive heart failure (CHF) and ASA. If a patient is having acute CHF and is coughing up blood but is also having chest pain are they still a candidate to receive ASA given the active “bleeding”. I would think the blood from back up into your lungs is different than the blood from an ulcer or something. Thanks for your help.

    Published On: December 3, 2014
  • Question: Last night I had a 75 year old patient calling because he was SOB x 2 days with it worsening this evening. Patient could not sleep (could not breathe very well laying down) and was more SOB on exertion. I could hear fine crackles in the bases of his lungs.

    There was no ischemic chest pain or NTG history. His vitals on contact were HR 90, BP 188/70 (ish), SPO2 95% on Room air, 100% on NRB, RR 24 verified with an with ETCO2 of 40mmHg, No ST changes in 12 lead.

    He had some slight increased work of breathing on scene with mild increased diaphragmatic use but was speaking full sentences and in good spirits with us. Patient had a history of COPD and CHF. He also stated he had taken some of his Ventolin puffers prior to our arrival with no relief (probably made things worse). I wanted to treat him with NTG but he did not seem to be in enough distress initially, so I kept him on the NRB which he stated help initially. We got to the truck and started an IV enroute, then administered 0.8mg NTG. Literally… within about 2 minutes of the NTG admin, while I was patching, the patient had a sudden onset of severe SOB. We were right outside the hospital, so I grabbed my BVM, assisted his respirations distress until my partner could get us out of the truck and help me put CPAP on. CPAP helped and he was back to normal shortly after our transfer of care.

    My question is, should I have used the CPAP right away with the NTG, even though the patient was not showing signs of severe respiratory distress at the time, and on numerous auscultations of the lung, did not have any increase in crackles… until of course, he developed that sudden severe respiratory distress? My gut was to CPAP him early, but I felt he did not fit the protocol yet given his level of dyspnea, SPO2 sats, RR and minimal accessory muscle use.

    Published On: November 5, 2014
  • Question: A nitro virgin patient presenting with chest pain attends a doctor’s office. Doctor administers 1 spray of nitro prior to EMS arrival. Upon assessment by EMS, patient still presents with chest pain. Is the patient still considered a virgin nitro patient as this is the first incident he/she has had with nitro? Or since the doctor administered a spray, does that count as a previous use of nitro?

    Published On: December 20, 2013
  • Question: If respirations are at or above 28, historically paramedics are taught to assist via BVM. What is the rationale with pulmonary edema to apply NRB with tachypnea instead of assisting with a BVM until CPAP and or nitro is prepared?

    Published On: December 20, 2013
  • Question: We are instructed to get the nitro in, if applicable, apply the CPAP and if there is improvement, do not remove the mask for additional nitro sprays. Is the improvement slight or significant? If slight improvement, do we leave the pressure at the slight improvement pressure or titrate 2.5cmH2O?

    Published On: December 20, 2013
  • Question: If we are treating a patient with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema that is a nitro virgin that’s blood pressure is above 140 systolic and then their blood pressure drops below 140 systolic but not by one third then can we consider them now as not being a nitro virgin and therefore continue treating them with 0.4 nitro? Thank you for taking the time to answer all of these questions.

    Published On: July 11, 2013
  • Question: A CHF patient who has a BP of over 140mmHg systolic who is getting 0.8mg of NTG for SOB, patient’s BP drops below 140mmHg so NTG dosage is changed to 0.4mg, patient’s systolic BP rebounds above 140mmHg. Does patient go back to getting 0.8mg of NTG or is it like the “once you are out, you are out” mentality that they stay at 0.4mg NTG?

    General answers to this question from other paramedics I have asked usually say that the patient will continue to get 0.4mg of NTG regardless of systoloic BP, if it has dropped below 140mmHg at any time during the call. Thank you in advance for your time and help.

    Published On: April 17, 2013
  • Question: I have a question regarding nitro use with lung cancer patients. I recently had a patient who was obviously in the end stages of lung CA. Patient was complaining of mild SOB due excessive amounts of fluid buildup in his lungs. He stated that he needed to go to the hospital to have the fluid drained. Patent had 5-6 word dyspnea, O2 sats at 92 %, radial pulse 90, NSR, respiratory rate 22 regular, audible crackles when patient took a deep breath, and B/P 124/86. Patient stated that within the last couple of days he had noticed swelling to his ankles and abdomen which were abnormal for him. Patient had a previous history of nitro use due to angina. Would this patient benefit at all with nitro use? He wasn’t in severe respiratory distress nor did he require assisted ventilations.

    Published On: March 6, 2013
  • Question: A couple of questions in regards to CPAP use for acute pulmonary edema. I wondered if the medical directive intended for CPAP use in other cases of acute pulmonary edema other than the situation arising from heart failure. For example secondary drowning several hours after initial insult or inhalation injuries in the absence of facial or thorax burns that could be seen with chemicals or fire? It would be reasonable to assume that these insults would cause trauma to the lung tissue and increase the risks for developing pneumothorax as a complication, however in instances like this would CPAP be recommended, beneficial or allowed.

    Second part would be the use of CPAP for those with complex medical issues such as those patients with Hx of asthma, COPD and CHF. If you where to treat with CPAP for say evidence of acute pulmonary edema and crackles resolved, but wheezes remained would there be benefit to consider ventolin for bronchoconstriction via MDI or neb through the CPAP device? Typically ventolin is not considered in these instances but auscultation in the prehospital setting has limitations and with complex medical histories cardiac asthma and COPD exacerbation may also be part of the overall medical situation.

    I thank you for your comments and insights.

    Published On: December 3, 2012
  • Question: I have a question about a call. Male patient severe SOB. Crackles throughout with a GCS of 4, suspected acute pulmonary edema. Obviously patient of out nitro protocol. Patient’s spo2 31 and 42% with mottling noted. Patient’s initial pulse 42 with a respiration rate of 33. CPAP is contraindicated at this time so ventilations assisted via BVM. Enroute patient’s GCS improves to 15 and spo2 increases to 99% with ventilation assist. At this point could CPAP be applied or is it like the nitro protocol, once your out your out?

    Published On: October 11, 2012
  • Question: I am a current PCP taking ACP. I was recently informed, during an ACP class, that on an unconscious CHF patient, nitro can still be administered if vitals are within normal range and the other conditions are met. When I checked the protocols, under conditions, it states that LOA: N/A (whereas for cardiac ischemia, the LOA must be unaltered). However, it seems to me that if the patient is unconscious, the patient is too unstable to receive nitro. I have never experienced a call like this, and it would seem that in most cases an unconscious patient would have vitals outside the perimeters of nitro administration. Can you please verify this? Thanks

    Published On: October 11, 2012
  • Question: Do all Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors generic names end in “fil”? Are all drugs that end “fil” Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors? Is this an adequate way to start down the path toward withholding Nitro due to Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor contraindication?

    Published On: July 3, 2012
  • Question: I had a question in regards to why do we need to establish an IV in a patient with suspected pulmonary edema? If they fit this protocol, they will most likely have crackles, and therefore if we happen to bottom out their pressure with nitro sprays, we will not be able to bolus due to the patient having crackles. Thanks in advance.

    Published On: March 13, 2012
  • Question: For a patient with fluid building up in the lungs (recently having the same issue and having to have fluid drained via chest tube) due to a complication of CA, what is the best course of action? It wouldn’t seem that a bronchodilator wouldn’t be effective and since the fluid is of non-cardiogenic nature would nitro work?

    Published On: February 15, 2012
  • Question: Can you clarify a condition in the contraindications for nitro use protocols? Current contraindications listed under the protocol are self explanatory, where as one to me seems to be very vague. The one Im referring to is the use of a “Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors” within the previous 48 hours. They are many examples of this type of inhibitor (including caffeine) and it might reduce confusion if the specific and relevant ones were listed under the protocol specific to cardiac. For example, a patient who has had a cup of coffee prior to your arrival or 48 hours prior to for that matter has ingested a Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor. Under the current directive and the way it is written, could be argued that this patient is contraindicated to receive Nitro.

    Published On: January 31, 2012
  • Question: Why was Lasix removed from the pre-hospital CHF/Pulmonary Edema protocol, when the first thing an ER Physician orders on arrival at the ER is Lasix?

    Published On: January 19, 2012